Rheumatology International

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 29–38 | Cite as

Prevalence and correlates of inflammatory arthritis in Germany: data from the First National Health Survey

  • S. SchneiderEmail author
  • G. Schmitt
  • W. Richter
Original Article


The aim of this paper is to generate data on the prevalence of inflammatory arthritis in different subgroups of the population and to identify correlates on the basis of population-based cross-sectional data: the “First National Health Survey of the Federal Republic of Germany”. This Survey investigated the prevalence of inflammatory arthritis, comorbidity and health-relevant behaviors on the basis of interviews with physicians and medical evaluations conducted in the period from October 1997 to March 1999. The study was based on a net sample comprising 6,461 subjects aged 18–79. Our data demonstrate an overall prevalence of 3.4% for inflammatory arthritis. The prevalence of inflammatory arthritis is significantly higher in women, the over-50, lower-income groups, and habitual smokers. Patients with inflammatory arthritis have a higher rate of numerous comorbidities such as osteoporosis, thyroid disease, chronic bronchial disease, hypertension, and elevated blood lipids versus healthy reference groups.


Inflammatory arthritis Survey Epidemiologic determinants Correlates Prevalence 



Special thanks are due to Dr. Heribert Stolzenberg, Robert Koch Institut, Berlin for the providing the data sets. We also wish to thank Saskia Tönges for her assistance in drafting and formatting the text. None of the authors has a conflict of interest. A grant of the independent research fund of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Germany supported this publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research DepartmentOrthopädische Universitätsklinik HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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